Tag: The Dark Knight

Dark Knight Rising, Batpod Skidding

Dark Knight Rising, Batpod Skidding

You know how we sometimes have a tendency to give our ‘expert’ views on something that already seems perfect, and how, according to us, it could have still been better?

Experts will agree that in areas of personal strengths and weaknesses, it is always better to focus on our strengths rather than our weaknesses. But in some other areas, the attitude can sometimes seem unnecessary. For instance, the way some people comment or curse when according to them, a sportsperson already giving his or her all, could have still done better. Where lazy beer-sipping spectators, with the other hand drowned in a bag of chips, somehow feel they know better.

In this post, I too am guilty of something to that effect. My views are about the Batpod design in a movies series that is already almost perfect. But don’t take it personally, as I am probably a bigger Batman fan than you are.

Christopher Nolan‘s franchise gave us the best 3 Batman movies ever. Apart from Batman himself, the brilliant plot, an eternally loyal Alfred, outstanding characters, an unforgettably dark Joker, Bane, Mr. Fox, and all the darkness; a treat for fans.

When it came to Batman’s crazy rides, I found something a little wrong with the Batpod, in The Dark Knight and in The Dark Knight Rises.

BatPod (1)

It is undoubtedly a neat looking ride, especially when you see it disengage from a badly damaged Tumbler. But there’s a scene almost immediately after that bit, that doesn’t make sense from the point-of-view of the Batpod’s design. You’ve noticed the guns on either side of the front wheel of the Batpod. And we’ve all seen how the Batpod skids to a halt, its wheels spinning on the axle. It looks especially neat when Batman comes out of a narrow alley, and you can see the lights on the forward guns spin with the tyre. In case that bit is a little hazy, here’s a video to jog your memory. [the spin happens after 0.55 secs into the video]

So, the bit I didn’t understand is, that when the wheels of the Batpod are spinning on a skid, how is it physically possible to do so with the guns present?

batpodwire

image: link

Because as soon is anything but rubber is in contact with the road, it would send the Batpod or any other vehicle, spinning anywhere but where you’d hope for it to go. No friction, right? And there don’t seem to be any rubber-like material on the outer side of the guns either. And neither are the guns shaped to make the cross-section circular, to make for a smooth spherical roll while skidding.

That said, I’d still most certainly own a Batpod if I could.

Batpod3

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See Yourself Become The Villain

In the Dark Knight, there’s a scene where Harvey Dent says “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain”.

When you first hear it, it sounds like one of those brainless lines from some low-budget movie, right? Like a random dialog from the movie ‘Torque‘ (oh yeah, not low-budget, but definitely sad dialogs).

But something about this line made it stick in my head. I wondered if and how it made sense. And then it struck me, while looking at it from the work perspective. That’s when it got some perspective.

Who is a hero? Just a regular girl or guy who does something beyond the ordinary. They do something good, they do something extra, they do something better! Selfless acts that surprise. That delight the average folk.

Now firstly, what happens with doing that extra is, that people are not expecting it.
Normal people live in continuous, monotonous cycles of predictable, normal and average things; the routine.

So, when you suddenly change that with “better” or “more”; they are surprised. They don’t expect it. Now this does not necessarily apply to work only, but to pretty much everything in life.

In the evening, on your way back from work, you offer your seat to someone who, say looks more tired than you. Even though they might not show it,
they’d be really surprised. [try Forward Pass]

Anyway, back to my point. So, when u do such “out-of-the-ordinary” things, people are initially taken aback. They’re grateful.

However, when you continue the ‘good deeds’ on a regular basis, they start getting used to it. Now ideally, they should realize and always know at the back of their minds, that what you are doing is much better than the ‘off-the-shelf’ normal. However, with time, they tend to forget, and your extra efforts now become the new normal.

This is quite a responsibility, and would be much easier to implement if the entire community (or the entire mankind for all i care) rose up to the new
levels of efficiency or goodness or whatever. But this does not happen. Most people take for granted that you have chosen to do what you do, that extra bit, which now has become the new normal, and is the minimum expectation that they now have from you.

So, now if you were to slow down, or pull back even a little bit; even though you might still be giving or delivering more than the old normal levels, for them, you are just under-delivering, or, you have suddenly turned into the bad guy, you’ve become inefficient, or you simply don’t care a *bleep* anymore.

Strange are the ways of the human kind.

To conclude, don’t lose hope. Because even if you find yourself being looked upon as the villain, it’s only a matter of time before the blind folk will realize the true worth of your efforts. However, till you get to that stage, it is very important that you have the patience and conviction to stick with what you believe in, and not meekly reconcile yourself with the herd. Stick to your guns, and you will see yourself going right back to being the hero in good time.

Because sooner or later, people will start to see things clearer.

They will see how your beliefs and principles are rock solid, compared to their fickle-mindedness and mediocrity.

And once you’re done giving this a thought, you might want to run through a very interesting article about why you should “Stop Trying To Delight Your Customers“, @ HBR, courtesy Matthew Dixon, Karen Freeman, and Nicholas Toman.

Why…Not…Serious.??

Why…Not…Serious.??

The Dark Knight is by far the most outstanding Batman movie ever, but what’s even more spectacular, is the Joker.

The Joker, not only inspired horror, but what he said could run shivers down your spine.

Whyyy so seriouss..??

What I liked most about the Joker was the fact that most of what he said, like it or not, is absolutely true in the world today.

I’m still hopeful. Just like Batman was when the two ferries were rigged, with the remotes kept in the other barge. But when you look at the state of things around, the Joker’s words tend to cross your mind…

Hmmm? You know… You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go “according to plan.” Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all “part of the plan.” But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds! Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos.

Source: link

Look at what’s happened in India over the past two decades. We’ve had bomb blasts ripping through cities, over and over again. People are horrified, shaken, paranoid even. The news channels have ‘field days’. Give it a few days, and everyone has put the incident into some low priority folder in their heads, and gone about with their routine like it never happened.

Now while resilience is a good thing, everyone’s missing the bigger point. Can’t the security forces, the police, the intelligence agencies, and even the common man become more responsible. Why aren’t we, as Viper in Top Gun puts it, ‘compelled to evaluate what’s happened, so that he can apply what he’s learnt’? And why do we always go back to being our usual  irresponsible selves?

The another blast. And then another. So many innocent people who just didn’t deserve to die, lost their lives in the most gruesome of ways. And still, the intelligence agencies, the security forces and the police expected that if the bad guys are gonna ever attack again, they might do it the same way, so lets keep a watch out for bombs.

How can you just assume everything. The terrorists have been successful so far because of our ignorance. We checked random taxis, buses and trains for explosives or suspicious looking objects, but left such a damn big coastline unguarded.

And, once again, on Nov. 28, 2008, Mumbai (India) was hit in a manner least expected. And for what felt like a lifetime. Like the Joker said, the bad guys here too just introduced a little anarchy, a lot in fact. And that upset the established order. Nobody saw terror come in that form. And then, everything was chaos. And we, with all the security, and all the intelligence, were sitting ducks.

If not as back as 1993, at least by 2003, or for that matter 2006 all the way to the Mumbai terrorist attack, couldn’t the security and intelligence agencies have sat and thought like the terrorists, and prepared themselves accordingly.

There’s this Bollywood movie called Border, which is one of my all-time favourites. It is based on the 1971 war fought between India and Pakistan, where Pakistan decided to forcefully enter India and capture whatever area it could.

Now, whatever I’ve mentioned say here is based on what I’ve read, and parts from the film.

But well, here’s what happened. Expecting a Pakistani attack by Pakistan, a small regiment of the Indian army at Rajasthan was given a choice. Of holding the Longewala post in Rajasthan till reinforcements arrived, or to flee the post. Another strategic post, Sadhewala, had a much larger Indian battalion posted there. The Pakistanis had planned to attack the Longewala post with a much larger tank battalion. The Major heading the small regiment questions his commanding officer before leaving for the post. He asks ‘how can he assume that just because the Pakistani’s attacked the Sadhewala post in the previous war, that they would do the same this time’? Or ‘whether he thinks the enemy is expected to ask them where to attack’.

The 1971 war makes for one of the most amazing war stories, and one that fills me with pride for my country. And rightly so. This war is significant in the history of wars. To date, remains one of the few wars where a highly outnumbered army emerged victorious. Let’s put that in perspective. 120-130 Indian army soldiers guarding an outpost, were attacked by a 2800+ Pakistani tank regiment. At night. Indian fighter planes at the time were not equipped for night flight. They therefore had to wait till dawn to rescue the army regiment. This small Indian army regiment inflicted heavy casualties on the 2800+ enemy soldiers and tanks mostly due to a favourable terrain, accompanied by the soldiers, who courageously held off the enemies till morning, when the air force came and wrapped things up in our favour.

But to think about it; while we sure won that war, we sure beat the crazy odds, and we did what under most circumstances, given the odds, would’ve been nearly impossible otherwise, but; did it have to be that way.

Could we have perhaps had both locations reasonably well guarded. Or if troops could’ve been mobilized to either location at the earliest. We would have beat the enemy much faster. Or better still, looking at the strong army, the enemy probably wouldn’t have attacked in the first place.

A famous quote goes something like this – “It’s better to sweat in peace, than to bleed in war.”

Simply put, that means, if we plan well, if we anticipate things, if we do our homework in a proper manner, it would save us a hell of a lot of damage when things go bad. In fact, in matters of national security, I feel, if we do our homework, if we are more prepared on a continuous basis, there wouldn’t even be situations like that in Mumbai, or for that matter, all the attacks in the past few years across the country, or even in other countries abroad. Is human life so cheap, that people just take national security so lightly.

And if that was not enough, we made a joke of ourselves at the hands of Pakistan. When we kept providing them information linking the terrorists to their country. And they repeatedly deny it, making a joke of the entire thing.

Imagine the families of all those who lost someone to the attacks, or to the blasts. This would’ve just made them feel like a foreigner in their own country.

Now sure like any other guy, I’m crazy about first-person shooter video/ pc games; and absolutely crazy about recon games. And like most of us chaps, I’d love some action, etc. But it’s a totally different thing watching your fellow Indians bleed for absolutely no fault of theirs.

And while we are inherently a peace-loving country, over the years, why have we become so laid-back and meek? While I don’t suggest an Israel-style retaliation to attacks, though, believe me, Israeli’s absolutely rock at it. And while they sure do have a lot of crazy attacks happening there, at least their average citizen knows that their country doesn’t take things lying down.

We on the other hand, on that particular occasion after the Mumbai attack, made it appear as if we were at the mercy of the Pakistani verdict, which was absolutely ridiculous.

Lets think…

Be more prepared and pro-active…

Lets be alert…

And open to ideas. To logical reasoning…

Lets protect our country…

They say “The night is darkest just before the dawn.”

So why not stand together, and do our part in this fight against terrorism; to bring in that new dawn.

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Look forward to your views. And if you liked this one, consider following/subscribing to my blog (top right of the page). You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

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